In a game that was extremely Sweden dominated, the home team took out Slovakia 6-0. Filip Forsberg and Elias Lindholm led the way for Sweden with four points each and Lucas Wallmark also netted two goals in a game that was never really close. Quite frankly, the only reason it wasn’t 10-0 was Slovak goalie Richard Sabol who faced 40 shots and stopped 34. Oscar Dansk wasn’t tested a whole bunch, but ended up with an 18 save shutout. Sweden will face Russia in the semi-finals.
The first real chance for Sweden came from Sebastian Collberg and he fired a wrist shot from the slot at Richard Sabol, but the Slovak goalie made the save. The Swedes then end up controlling the puck in the Slovak end for a long period of time, but they can’t get a great shot against Sabol and it remained scoreless. Sweden comes close to getting the games first goal with a breakaway from Sebastian Collberg, but Sabol stopped him and then was run over by Collberg before Andreas Johnson could put the puck into the net so Slovakia’s dangerous power play went to work. Slovakia cannot score on that power play opportunity but then came ever so close with Mario Lunter getting a chance in front of Oscar Dansk. Then it was Andre Burakovsky coming close for Sweden as he rang it off the post but a short while later, Lucas Wallmark flew down the wing on a partial breakaway and made a fancy move to beat Sabol, 1-0 Sweden with about eight minutes left in the first. Sweden almost scored their second goal when Jacob de la Rose took a pass as he was coming into the slot and attempted to go forehand-to-backhand but couldn’t beat Sabol. Late in the first period, Slovak captain Milan Kolena took a holding penalty and sent the Swedes to their first power play. Sweden used that power play to give themselves a 2-0 lead. After some good passing all over the Slovak offensive zone, Filip Forsberg found Elias Lindholm at the side of the net and Lindholm was able to skate in front and beat Sabol for a late period goal. The first period concluded shortly after and Sweden led 2-0. They dominated the shots on goal totals as well, holding a 16-5 lead in the first.
Not even a minute into the period, Martin Reway tripped up Christian Djoos and gave Sweden another power play chance. It was a chance that they would convert. Captain Filip Forsberg blasted a one-timer by Richard Sabol, after some very nice passing, to put his team up 3-0 early in the second. Slovakia got a chance to get back into the game when Robert Hagg sent the puck over the glass, though they wouldn’t be able to do anything with it as Sweden killed it off with relative ease. Once the penalty expired, Martin Keckes took a kneeing penalty to send Sweden to yet another power play. During the power play, Andre Burakovsky danced around the Slovak defenders and caused Patrik Luza to hook him to avoid him scoring a goal and give Sweden an extended five-on-three. Somehow, despite Sweden dominating, Slovakia managed to kill both penalties and keep it at 3-0. While Slovakia came close to actually getting an opportunity to score, Sweden would have none of it and then scored instead. Nick Sorensen drove hard to the net but was denied by Sabol, however Lucas Wallmark followed up the rebound and buried it to put Sweden up 4-0. Right after the goal was scored, Sorensen took an elbowing penalty so Slovakia actually had the chance to get a shot on goal, or at least get it past centre ice. With about a minute and nine seconds left in the power play, Jesper Pettersson got called for boarding and the Slovaks got a two-man advantage for over a minute. With the five-on-three coming to a close, Linus Arnesson went to the box for tripping and allowed the Slovaks to get another crack on the five-on-three once the Sorensen elbowing penalty expired. Then the Pettersson penalty is killed off and Slovakia is left with a normal power play for less than a minute. With less than 30 seconds left in Arnesson’s penalty, Marko Dano got called for diving and after the short four-on-four ends, Sweden will go on the power play after doing a very good job killing the many penalties they took. The Slovaks killed the Dano penalty and actually came close to getting a chance shorthanded. The second period ended about 30 seconds or so later with Sweden holding a commanding 4-0 lead going into the last period of play. Shots on goal were a little closer this time around (thanks to the long power play time Slovakia had) with Sweden having an 11-9 advantage.
Andreas Johnson nearly put Sweden up by 5 goals, but Sabol came up big and stopped him. It was then Andre Burakovsky’s turn to try to beat Sabol, but the Slovak netminder stopped him as well. To make matters worse for Slovakia, Jakub Predajniansky took a holding penalty and put the Swedes back on the power play. Slovakia would catch a break with a Jacob de la Rose roughing minor to send the game to four-on-four and then a power play for the Slovaks. Although it was killed by Sweden, Slovakia would go right back to the power play with a Filip Sandberg goalie interference penalty. Slovakia ruin their man advantage when Patrik Luza interfered with Jacob de la Rose. Slovakia had their best chance of the game on the four-on-four when Oscar Dansk thought he had stopped the puck but instead, it rebounded out to Michal Valjent who had a wide open net, but he shot the puck wide much to the surprise of literally everyone in the arena. Once the Luza interference penalty came to an end, Stanislav Horansky got called for hooking and then right after the face-off, Predajniansky put the puck over the glass and gave Sweden a very long five-on-three. With not much time remaining in the five-on-three, Sebastian Collberg went to the box for tripping and gave Slovakia a power play once the two penalties expired. On the Slovak power play, Predajniansky took his third penalty of the period and on the four-on-four, the captain added on to the lead. Forsberg shot an absolute laser by Sabol and that made it 5-0 with a Sweden power play on its way. The power play paid off for Sweden as Burakovsky’s first shot was denied but de la Rose flipped a backhander over Sabol and in to make it 6-0 for the home team. The game would end a few minutes later with the Swedish crowd going crazy as their team took the dominating 6-0 finish. Shots on goal in the final period were 13-4.
I can’t possibly pick just three players from this game. The Swedish team is so deep up front that even their third line of Lucas Wallmark-Andre Burakovsky-Nick Sorensen can outplay most teams like they did tonight. Even though their “first line” of Alexander Wennberg-Sebastian Collberg-Andreas Johnson didn’t score a ton, they didn’t have to. In a way, Sweden could have three first lines with the two I just mentioned and what is the best line of the tournament, Elias Lindholm-Filip Forsberg-Jacob de la Rose in there as well. One thing that concerns me about Sweden, however, is that they take a few too many penalties and they can’t do what they did today against Russia on Saturday. As for Slovakia, not too much went right for them. Richard Sabol did he very best to keep his team in this one, but Sweden was just too much as they shut down the Slovaks best players and Sweden’s best players had no trouble getting their chances.
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